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Innovation Kitchen’s grand opening foreshadows collaboration

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Innovation Kitchen had its grand opening Mar. 23 in the Alumni Memorial Union.

Photo by Jordan Johnson

The event included a variety of appetizers, desserts and drinks made in-house. The main attraction was “Tapas on the 20” which featured Chef Jim Udulutch freshly preparing a tapas dish every 20 minutes for guests to enjoy. During the preparation process, he described the steps into a microphone and a variety of television screens live-streamed his process from the kitchen.

The event was open to all members of the community. Jessica Luebbering, a first year graduate student in the College of Arts & Sciences, attended because she had seen the event advertised in a university email.

“I hadn’t heard of exactly what (Innovation Kitchen) was going to be, but I love cooking, and I love food,”Luebbering said. “I’m very excited and pleased by what I see so far. I think it’ll be a really great program. I’m hoping to take advantage of the cooking programs.”

Cooking classes at the Innovation Kitchen have been going on since January. Students can sign up on the Marquette Dining Services website.

“I think it’ll be a great space that will be multi-functional and a different way of creating community,”Luebbering said. “A lot of communities form around tables and around food, so it’ll be a good thing to bring to the Marquette community.”

In the spirit of the collaborative attitude of Innovation Kitchen, Stone Creek Coffee was also featured at the event. Donato Guida, the general manager of Sodexo at Marquette, said this would be a common occurrence at Innovation Kitchen moving forward.

“We’re also focusing on local restaurants and business owners to do their showcase here as well,” Guida said.

Marshall Welch, the director of partnerships at Stone Creek Coffee, was the company representative at the event.

“Over the past year or so, the campus has really developed more in terms of coffee,” Welch said. “The dental school added a new cafe in that remodel, and with this really awesome Innovation Kitchen in the Lunda Room, they asked us to come, and we’re really happy to come.”

Stone Creek Coffee used the event to showcase some new coffees and to talk about an upcoming event they’re hosting in the Lunda Room.

“We’ve been partners for a long time, but what we’re really excited to do is do a lot of this innovative, collaborative culinary work,” Welch said. “We’re going to do a dinner in a couple weeks where we’re pairing specific dishes with a couple of coffees we have here at Stone Creek.”

Innovation Kitchen is an addition to the Lunda Room where an in-house chef will be available to teach cooking classes and community restaurants will be invited to host events.

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